tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN November 19, 2014 11:00am-12:01pm PST
hello, everyone. don lemon here in for brooke baldwin. we're following breaking news for you. president obama is set to speak in a prime time address that could change immigration in this country. cnn has learned that president obama will announce tomorrow evening that he's taking executive action on the issue. >> everybody agrees that our immigration system is broken. unfortunately washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long and so what i'm going to be laying out is things that i can do with my lawful authority as president to make
the system work better. >> so you heard him say it with my lawful authority. republicans say he will be overstepping his authority. joining me to discuss this is dana bash. we're getting new details about what the president will announce. what are your sources telling you? >> reporter: that he's going to talk about executive action that he believes he can take to allow most children of immigrants who came here not by their own volition but with their parents, so-called dreamers, to stay in the u.s. legally. and the flip side to allow some parents of children who are here to stay legally. it's probably about 3 million to 4 million people all told that we're talking about in a universe of what is suspected to be about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the united states.
so it certainly is a very big sector of the population that we're talking about, but here on capitol hill as you can imagine, don, the reaction is pretty fierce from republicans saying that they really wanted to do this legislatively despite that they haven't done so in four years since republicans have been in charge of the house. and that by the president taking this executive action, it makes it impossible for them to convince rank and file to come along with them in the next two years while the president is still in office to do something legislatively on immigration reform. >> what are you hearing about this dinner tonight? >> reporter: my understanding and i actually have been working the phones to figure out exactly who has been invited. john boehner not on the invite list. mitch mcconnell not on the invite list so it looks like democratic leaders from the house and senate to go to the white house and sit with the president, break bread and discuss his plans, what he's
going to announce tomorrow night. it is not going to be -- it's not a secret what the president has been planning. they certainly have been talking to democratic leaders and talking at the white house to immigration groups pretty intensively as well about what they want to do. so this is sort of the first step it looks like in the more formal process of the white house and the president himself letting congress know what road he's going to go down with this executive action. >> let's listen to what the house speaker john boehner said last week and then we'll talk. >> this is the wrong way to govern. it's exactly what the american people said on election day they didn't want. and so all of the options are on the table. we're going to fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path. >> will congress still have a chance to pass legislation even after president obama issues an
executive order? >> reporter: certainly that's the white house hope. that's the hope of some democrats here on capitol hill. even republicans who have been very much for immigration reform, for a path to citizenship like senator lindsey graham, senator john mccain, just moments ago in the hallway downstairs, they were telling us that they are very worried about this because they know the sentiment of republicans in congress and more importantly maybe outside groups who have a lot of influence on rank and file republicans and once the president takes this action, what many call abuse of power, then it will be a lot harder to get republicans who are reluctant to do this to come along for compromise. the question, don, at this point in short-term is how are republicans going to retaliate. i asked that question of the incoming senate majority leader mitch mcconnell yesterday and he said he doesn't like words like retaliate but the fact of the
matter is they are talking in meetings from one side of the capitol to the other about how they're going to respond to the president, whether they have any legislative remedies from censor to use the power of the purse to litigation to try to stop the president and all of those together could be something that they could do to really affect it but republican sources admit they don't have great options. >> dana bash, thank you very much for that. let's talk about the weather now. nearly a year's worth of snow falling in just 24 hours. you have to see it to believe it. here it is. officials say that's what happened in buffalo, new york, right now. it's happening right now as a matter of fact. an early winterlike storm unleashed more than 70 inches of snow in near record time. this hammering is the first snowfall of the season. the city's mayor says it's heavier than anything he's seen in over 40 years and tragically
the storm and frigid temps have turned deadly. there have been six deaths from car crashes or from being trapped in cars or from trying to shovel snow. this is an actual interstate in buffalo. i-90 thruway. the city's airport is open but a partial travel ban is preventing drivers from getting there. new york's governor declared a state of emergency in upstate new york. the weather team tracking this monster storm. meteorologist jennifer gray, chad myers on top of it now. we begin with jennifer standing on the ground and in a lot of snow in buffalo. jennifer? >> reporter: yeah, don. that's right. this snowstorm came fast and it was coming down very, very hard. that lake-effect snow where you get the snow showers just going over the same spots over and over and over. so when you get snow dumped on one area that equals 40, 50 inches of snow, this is what you
get. there's nowhere to put it. bulldozers and plows have been shoving it on the sides of streets and we're standing on top of about a 13-foot snow pile and you see these all over the city on the corners. we heard that 5,000 tons of snow has been removed from the city because they are loading all this snow into dump trucks and hauling it off. the reason is another wave is coming tonight. you have to manage this snow and put it somewhere before the next round comes. we could see an additional two to three feet of snow. i want to show you the scene here. we'll pan around and you can just check it out. you can see the roads are still covered in white. the plows have been out here in full force one after another completely removing the snow. there's still a snow pack on the ground. the snow is very, very heavy. and so we're seeing that pack stay on the ground. so roads are very, very slick right now. we've even seen those bulldozers tire spin so it's been horrible
as far as driving is concerned. we know that people have been rescued off of interstate 90. cars stranded there for more than 24 hours. still trying to clear the roads because they want things to be clear before this next wave comes. this has been a really serious situation. we talked to people, locals here from buffalo, is this special? they said, yes, we've never seen anything like this comparing it to the blizzard of '77 to locals say it's something like we've never seen before. >> one year's worth of snow in 24 hours. thank you. the buffalo area may be buried under six feet of snow now but it's only the beginning. >> another one coming. another lake effect coming. it won't last that long. what you see behind me is the most amazing time lapse i have seen in a long time. this is downtown buffalo. they didn't get much snow. a couple inches. that's the lake. the lake giving up its moisture and all of that snow falling on
the south side of buffalo. we call it south towns. you go from four miles north right to where i lived from two inches here to 65 inches in seven miles. or the other way from buffalo to lancaster, from 6 ppt 5 inches at the airport to 63 inches of snow. the lake gives up its moisture. the cold air picks it up and shoves it on the land and then the snow falls out. what the big story is for the next storm is will the wind come in from the west-southwest and blow that snow to dunkirk or blow the same way from southwest and blow the next batch of lake effect right back into buffalo proper. here's what the future weather looks like. snow going away today coming back tonight and then the bands of lake-effect snow, this is tomorrow afternoon 1:30 through buffalo and through hamburg and it doesn't get over yet. let me tell you what these people are dealing with.
if you have one square foot of snow to shovel, if you have 60 inches of snow on it, that weighs 20 pounds. if your driveway is 20 feet wide and 50 feet long, 20, 50, you now have 20,000 pounds of snow to move. and that's why people get heart attacks and that's why we say please take your time. it's going to be a long event. shoveling that driveway is a marathon, don. >> you ain't never lied as they say. thank you very much, chad. thank you, jennifer. appreciate both of you. netflix pulls a plug on bill cosby's special and nbc announcing it cut ties with cosby on a new show after more women surfaced accusing the comedian of rape. the latest one, janice dickinson. hear what she says and how cosby is responding next. ♪
welcome back. a word about my interview last night with cosby accuser. as a victim myself i would never want to suggest that any victim could have prevented a rape. if my question struck anyone as insensiti insensitive, i'm sorry as that was not my intention. two brand new developments to tell you about this hour in this bill cosby saga drama. cosby's lawyer issued the first statement outright denying rape allegations by the highest profile woman yet to come forward to accuse the comedian of rape. janice dickinson, a self-proclaimed world's first supermodel and star of reality
tv shows. says cosby raped her in 1992. this is what she told "entertainment tonight." >> in my room, he had given me wine and a pill. the next morning i woke up and i wasn't wearing my pajamas. i remember before i passed out that i had been sexually assaulted by this man. the last thing i remember was bill cosby in a patchwork robe, dropping his robe and getting on top of me. >> again, that was back in 1982. here's part of the statement that cosby's attorneys just gave cnn. janice dickinson's story accusing bill cosby of rape is a lie. the only story she gave 12 years ago to the media and in her autobiography was she refused to sleep with mr. cosby and blew her off. okay. documentary proof and ms. dickinson's own words shows the
news story she claims happened in 1982 is a fabricated lie. also breaking right now, nbc announcing that it plans to drop the development deal, that sitcom with cosby. brian stelter is host of "reliable sources" and joins us. this is starting to snow ball. >> last night about 12:30 in the morning about to go to bed when netflix said they'll not air this one-time standup comedy special that cosby already taped. they postponed it which means they may put it on netflix in the future. half hour ago nbc said we won't develop that sitcom. big projects we've been wondering about for days now are no longer going forward for bill cosby. it's a significant toll to his business. putting aside the very concerning allegations out there, you think about him and his career, this is a big step backward. >> he needs to address this,
correct? >> i think every day this goes on, even though there's been a lot of no comments, the silence gets louder, and you just read that statement from his lawyer. it's not any lawyer. it's marty singer. a famous celebrity lawyer. very famous for his aggressive posture toward media outlets. if he has a client that's being targeted, he'll send famous letters to those news outlets warning them about the lie that he's saying that janice dickinson is putting out there. he's bringing in a top attorney to help him out. >> i have to get to breaking news. we have to get to the white house now where they are talking about immigration. there they are speaking now about immigration. let's take a listen in. >> an ample opportunity to discuss that. what i will point out and maybe we'll talk more in the briefing, you'll find that it's consistent with actions taken by presidents of both parties to deal with the
immigration system that presidents from eisenhower, kennedy, johnson, nixon, reagan, both bushes, took executive action to deal with what they characterized as problems with the broken immigration system and they took steps unilaterally using the authority that's vested in the executive branch to try to solve some of those problems. what you'll see in terms of the president's announcement will be generally consistent with that exercise of executive authority. >> so there's a speech tomorrow night and then he goes to the high school on friday. will there be more stops by the president to sort of sell this, if you will, next week? is thursday and friday the extent of it or will there be more stops with the president talking about this? >> i do anticipate that we'll be having a number of rather lengthy discussions about this decision. the president in all sincerity is looking forward to this debate. the president feels very
confident both in the steps that he's taken and he also feels very confident in knowing that these steps are going to be good for the country. that despite some of the concerns that have been raised by republicans, we know that these steps are going to strengthen national security, they're going to strengthen the security at the border. they are going to strengthen our economy. and they will do something to address a lingering problem, which is millions of people who currently live in this country who can come out of the shadows, can get right with the law. they can pay their taxes and go back to the line and go to the back of the line and but also sort of become fully contributing members of communities large and small all across the country and this is an important step that will have a pretty profound impact on the lives of millions of people who live here and we'll have an opportunity over the course of the next couple of days obviously to talk about this in more detail.
i would certainly not rule out that in the coming weeks that the president will take additional trips or host other events to continue talking about these very important issues. roberta? >> if what the president wants is comprehensive reform which requires bipartisan action on the hill, why wouldn't he invite republicans for dinner and talk to them about it too? >> roberta, sadly, if it were only dinner that was required to get republicans to act in bipartisan fashion, we would have passed bipartisan compromise immigration reform legislation quite some time ago. the president convened a lunch two weeks ago where he invited democratic and republican leaders to come and talk about a range of issues including immigration reform. tonight's dinner is another chance to talk about immigration reform. it's not the first opportunity and not the last. >> reporter: is he worried about democrats being worried about this move and siding with republicans on whatever
republicans decide to do to try to stop it? >> i think the short answer to your question is no. the longer answer to your question is i do think that there is -- once we have an opportunity to talk about some of the details related to the executive action that the president has chosen to take, it will become clear that there's a solid legal foundation for the president taking those actions and, again, we do anticipate that there will be republican opposition to what the president announces, but it was clear when he talked about this, as he mentioned at the news conference that he hosted in berma, he noted that we shouldn't allow disagreement over a single issue to become a deal breaker over every issue and this is a good example. we shouldn't allow disagreements over immigration to prevent us from finding common ground where it may exist on other issues. the fact that the president signed a bipartisan child care bill in the oval office, a ceremony attended by democratic
and republican legislators is an indication where there's common ground we should act on it. >> reporter: how worried is he that this will result in a shutdown or defunding actions. >> we've seen definitive statements from republican leaders in the house and senate indicating they would not shut down the government. i take them at their word. >> reporter: yesterday we heard the president will go as far as he can as allowed under law. has the president decided to go as far as we can under law? >> we'll have an opportunity to talk about that more. it's fair to say that what the president asked the attorney general and secretary of homeland security to do is to examine what was in the law and to compile or at least formulate a strategy for maximizing the authority that's vested in the executive branch to try to address as many of these problems as possible.
there may be some people based on their own reading of the law believe the president could have done more that's why i hesitate to use the formulation that you repeated there. i do think that by any measure, upon reviewing the actions the president has chosen to take, an impartial observer would conclude that the president has sought to maximize the use of his authority to try to solve these problems and i think that's what the american people expect the president of the united states to do to use every element of their authority to solve problems. >> reporter: if the president had wanted or does want to expand this to the parents of dreamers, from the review that was done and you know the results of that large scale review, does that fit under the law? we're not talking about what the president is going to do with you does that one element fit
within his bounds of the law? >> i want to reserve comment on proposals that have been floated so far until the president has had the opportunity to make his announcement and we'll spend time delving into what the president has chosen to do and whether the legal justification may have existed for him to take other steps. we can talk about that more easily once the full complement of the president's proposal has been laid out. >> reporter: what the president will announce tomorrow night, will that be able to survive attempts from members of congress to defund certain elements? do you think it's defund proof in any way or is it still going to be susceptible to those kind of actions of congress? >> i think we'll have to see what republicans choose to do. i do, however, feel confident that there is strong support on capitol hill for addressing many of the problems that the president hopes to solve by using executive authority. you know, we certainly anticipate that we'll have a robust debate about these issues
and i don't anticipate based on the public comments of senator mcconnell and others that there's going to be a government shutdown that results from this. >> lastly, already again we know that it hasn't been announced and you can't get into details but already some groups are coming out saying it doesn't go far enough. how do you respond to that? ahead of it even being announced. >> i'm sure that you can comb through your inbox and find right wing groups that say the president has done so far. there are equal offenders on both side of the aisle commenting on a proposal that no one has seen. we'll have plenty opportunity to debate these issues once the president has made an announcement. >> reporter: what will be the implementation date attached to the president's action? >> we'll have more details on implementation once the proposal has been rolled out tomorrow. >> reporter: can you talk about the president's efforts to
implement this through dhs and how long it would take? how long is implementation phase needed? >> once we can look at the proposals that the president has laid out, we can talk about implementation. >> reporter: what kind of briefings is the white house having for lawmakers and maybe the business community that would be very interested in their ability to hire or to employ? >> as many of you know who have been covering this closely, the white house has been engaged in a wide range of conversations as the president has been considering what steps to take. those conversations have been rooted in primarily helping to understand or helping the white house to have a clear understanding of how specific decisions might have an impact on specific communities or in some cases even specific businesses. so there is a desire to have that kind of understanding and as a result there have been a number of conversations that have been convened by members of the president's staff to discuss some of these issues. there are a number of conversations that are ongoing
today and will continue tomorrow related to communicating to lawmakers and other interested parties in washington, d.c. about what the president has decided. the one place where people can expect to get a detailed rundown on the president's proposal will be in the context of the speech the president will deliver tomorrow. >> reporter: when we get briefed or we get information, will there be budgetary numbers attached to it? will we be able to understand tomorrow what the projected costs or budgetary effect will be? >> i don't know if those numbers will be produced. you are welcome to ask about them. we'll see if we can get you some answers. >> reporter: will the president veto a government funding bill that included a provision to prevent him from taking this action? >> well, it certainly would not be a proposal that the president would support obviously. i think we would evaluate these individual proposals on the merits before we make a final
decision. we'll see. i think we'll also depend on what republicans choose to do in that situation as well. >> so i want to be sure i got this straight. there's been a lot of talk by republicans saying that they would fund the government but not allow this to go forward. use that as leverage. so you don't rule out the president signing into law something that would undo the very thing he's going to announce tomorrow night? >> i think that seems -- i think we'll have to sort of evaluate for ourselves what proposals republicans put forward. i wouldn't want to hazard a guess at this point. it won't surprise you to hear that proposals that are floated like that certainly would not be among the proposals we would support. >> senator ted cruz has already reacted to this. >> let me guess. >> reporter: he says that the republican senate that will be sworn in in january if the president goes forward with this action should not confirm a single nominee executive or
judicial outside of vital national security positions so long as the illegal amnesty persists. what would be reaction to senator cruz? >> well, i think what i would merely say is that the president talked a lot over the last couple weeks about the lesson he drew from the last midterm election. and it's the president's view that the american people were interested in their representatives in washington, d.c. making progress on behalf of the american people. and that doesn't mean folding on principle but it does mean trying to find common ground and putting interests of the nation ahead of partisan political ambition or political interests. and that certainly is a message that the president has taken to heart and we hope that democrats and republicans will do the same. >> so again, i know that this has been addressed here but given exactly what you said there about message voters were sending in the election, doesn't
it send the wrong message to have the president bring only democrats here tonight to talk about what he's going to do? i mean, you said you hoped this action would not foreclose the possibility of congress acting to do something more broadly in a bipartisan fashion, so why not start here and bring republicans in and say this is what i'm doing, here are details. i know you don't approve of how i'm doing it but, you know, let's start to work together on something else. >> i wouldn't rule out that those kinds of conversations occurring. we've had any number of countless conversations with republicans both in the -- mostly in the house but also in the senate prior to the passage of the senate bill trying to find areas where democrats and republicans could find common ground to make progress on comprehensive immigration reform. the senate succeeded in that effort and 14 senate republicans joined democratic senators to support a common sense proposal. we would like to see the house
operate in similar fashion. they've had almost a year and a half now to do exactly that. and they would if that bill were allowed to come up for a vote. the house republican leadership has concluded that they don't want that bill to come up for a vote probably because they oppose it and fear it would pass if the house did vote on it. you can describe the people having dinner with the president as democrats. that would be true. you can describe them as people who are genuine supporters of common sense immigration reform that would also be true. that would be the principle topic of discussion at dinner. we should not, however, allow disagreement over this issue to be a deal breaker over all of the others including the appointment of highly qualified professionals to serve an important role in government. >> john boehner said many times and other republicans as well that the president taking this action would poison the well not only in terms of immigration reform in the next congress but in terms of a whole range of other issues and it will make cooperation with the white house
very difficult on issues far beyond immigration. i'm told he sent that message directly to the president when they had lunch here. does the president take john boehner at his word when he said that the president taking this action will poison the well on a whole range of issues? >> i think you highlight what i think is a pretty stark difference in approach between the house republican leadership at least and those of us who work here for the democratic president. we've seen house republicans pass 40, 50, 60 different measures to defund or repeal obamacare as they call it and it would be easy for the president after the fourth or fifth time to say if you are focused on defunding obamacare, there's no reason we can get anything done for the american people. there is no suggestion by me or anyone at the white house that repeated efforts by republicans
to repeal the president's signature initiative was somehow poisoning the well. we chalked it up to a difference of opinion. it rests on a piece of legislation that makes sure millions of people have healthcare and we slowed the growth in healthcare costs and patient protections that are popular with the american public. we can have legitimate differences of opinion, and i'm not disagreeing that the difference of opinions exist because they do but what do you do in reaction to them? we won't allow differences of opinion to interfere with our efforts to find common ground. >> what i'm asking is does the president believe john boehner when he says that if you go forward and take this executive action, we will not be able to work with you not just on immigration but on a whole range of other issues and it will poison the well. does he believe the speaker when he says that? >> i think the president always takes the speaker at his word. but i think the president also is willing to allow the speaker to change his mind.
jared? >> reporter: following up on that, let's say speaker boehner doesn't change his mind and says this is a deal breaker for a host of other issues and i realize that's the wrong approach you feel to take but if that's the case, is this immigration reform that the president is so intent on doing tomorrow, is it a big enough issue as far as legacy, as far as all of the goals of this administration, is it worth that gamble? is it worth that risk? >> this is something i've said before. let me pose it to you again. this is the way that the president sees it. sitting before him right now is a fundamental question. right now we've got bipartisan legislation that passed through the senate. we have house republicans who have blocked it for more than a year and a half who indicated that they will block it through the rest of the year. and have also indicated in answering a question from one of your colleagues that they're not really willing to commit to bringing it up next year. the president sits at his desk
wondering should i wait for republicans to take an action they say they oppose or should i use all of the authority that the american people have elected me to exercise to make progress for the american people in a way that would be good for our national security, in a way that would be good for strengthening security at the border and in a way that's good for economic growth and good for middle class families and consistent with our values as a nation of immigrants. when you sort of stack up all of the pros and cons there, i think that this is one of those decisions -- the president often says that as president of the united states, only the tough decisions reach his desk. this may be the one exception. >> isn't one of the cons at least the threat of serious inaction when it comes to nominations, when it comes to a budget, when it comes to a host of other issues that certainly are important to both republicans and the president? >> i guess that is predicated on a premise that republicans have
been exceedingly cooperative with the president when it comes to the budget and nominations and other things. it may be a difference of degree but not in substance. >> reporter: when you formulated these actions, did you do some kind of analysis on how many illegal immigrants you thought would come out of the shadows to take advantage of this temporary relief? >> what i anticipate we'll be able to do once you see the proposals tomorrow is talk to you a little bit about the number of people who could be or would be affected by this. >> reporter: i'm asking a slightly different question. not how many could be but how many are willing to do something -- in other words, identify themselves as illegal which is what coming out of the shadows is knowing that the next president could take this temporary deportation relief away from them and deport them. i'm saying it's a risk. >> that's true. >> reporter: i wonder if you consider that. >> it's certainly something that was considered when the president made his announcement about deferred action for childhood arrivals.
this is an analysis that was done about population of people who would be affected by that decision. there was a discussion about the number of people who they call it a take-up rate. who would make themselves available to benefit from this decision. and i would expect that a similar analysis would be conducted in this instance as well. we'll have more to say about this tomorrow. >> reporter: can i requeask a question on an unrelated topic. what is the administration's position on lifting the 40-year-old ban on exporting u.s. crude oil. there's a ban on it since the '70s. >> this is a little bit like a pop quiz. >> reporter: i honestly don't know. >> why don't we get back to you before the end of the day. mike? >> reporter: i was really struck by your first answer to jonathan's first question. >> is that a compliment? >> reporter: it sounded like
when you were saying, hey, if there's legislation defunding this, would you veto it and you said we'll see how exactly it's written. it sounds to me like what you're saying is this is the order but we would be willing to negotiate with republicans over the scale and scope of this order short of them passing new immigration legislation. am i fairly interpreting your response? otherwise why would you say we'll wait and see? >> mostly because i didn't want to comment on a hypothetical. i didn't want to rule anything out. we would take a dim view of efforts by republicans to try to curtail the president's executive authority using a writer on a budget proposal. but that said -- >> reporter: is there room here after the republican cry about this for them to come back with you and say we're not going to
pass legislation but we might do this for you if you do would scale back the order a little bit in this way or that way or add this or add that. >> i think the president is not just open but interested in conversations with republicans who have a genuine interest in trying to make progress on the kinds of priorities that the president has identified and that the american people support. i think that we're open to conversations. does that mean that we would be -- like i said, i can't imagine a scenario where the president would be interested in curtailing his own authority in a way that didn't have the kinds of positive benefits that he intends. >> curtailing authority is curtailing use of your authority. you always have discretionary use. >> that's true. this is a difficult one, mike, because it's a hypothetical situation. the one thing i can say that's rooted in fact and will continue to be true is that we're always going to be open with
conversations with republicans who have a genuine interest in trying to strengthen or improve on policy priorities that the president identified and the american people support. >> major? >> reporter: following up on that line of questioning, just so i understand what the priorities are because, yes, a hypothetical in a general sense but it may actually not be that hypothetical. if republicans put a writer on a continuing resolution in which a lot of other very important funding mechanisms for the government, ebola, isis, everything else are there, and this action is the one item that jeopardized all of the rest, what is the president's more preferred priority? >> well, if an eventuality like that does occur, we'll have ample opportunity to debate it and discuss it and if that happens, i'm sure we will. i'm not going to weigh in on it from here. >> reporter: by the president's own timing, he intended to do this. he made a public promise to do
this in september and then delayed signaling to everyone that the timing of this is completely fluid. it's discretionary. it's at the president's discretion. >> that's right. >> reporter: in that sense, putting it up against a continuing resolution in a government shutdown scenario is also a discretionary decision of the president. it seems like he's intentionally putting it next to other things. i wonder if that's a signal he's trying to send that this is more important than anything else that needs to get done before the president and congress wrap this up. >> it's not the intend. the fact of the matter is that we've been happy if congress passed a budget last year when they were supposed to instead of moving forward with the continuing resolution that kicked the can to the middle of december. again, this is not an effort to provoke a standoff here. in fact, the fact that republicans have refused to act on immigration reform is why we are where we are anyway. >> if you had done it in
september, you would have -- it is by your choosing, they are closely aligned with one another. these two things by the president's own choice. >> it was congress' choice to pass the cr that only extended the budget through december 11th. are both parties responsible for the fact that things are happening in relatively close proximity, probably. even regardless of when the president had decided to move forward with this action, i'm confident that there are plenty of senators who would have found a way to raise a ruckus about this using legislative process and that will occur this time too but that would have happened regardless of which season of the year this decision was announced. >> reporter: in that context, this authority is negotiable within a conversation about keeping the government open. is that fair? >> i don't want to leave you that impression. it's a hypothetical scenario.
would the president negotiate. that would assume that republicans are willing to negotiate after we talked about how they're not willing to negotiate because the president took this action. i don't want to go too far down this hypothetical road. i will just say as a practical matter a couple of things. one, the president is always open to conversations with republicans. and two, he's always open to those conversations when they are in pursuit of strengthening policies that he thinks are good for the country and that the american people support. >> very simple blockhead question which i sometimes come up with. is there something the president signs, is this a new order, does it have a number attached to it, or is it something in which he communicates to his bureaucracy a set of guidelines that implement authorities in a different way? >> we'll have more to explain about this tomorrow. it's a legitimate question to ask but once the president has made these decisions, we can talk more. once the president -- let me just clarify.
once the president announces these decisions we'll be in a better position to talk about how they are effectively implemented. >> reporter: you can't even explain the mechanics of it? >> i can once the proposal has been laid out. i don't want people to read into the description of the mechanics and assume that they know something about what the president has decided. >> reporter: i believe you suggested a couple of times now that one of the goals of the president is to encourage people to come out of the shadows with this executive order. it was my understanding that the way to do that was the path to citizenship that republicans call amnesty and object to. given that, i think the president made clear that he cannot offer people that. do you really expect this order to encourage people to come out of the shadows? >> well, again, once the president has rolled out what he
proposes to do, we can have a discussion on what that intended effect would be. >> let me ask you this. is it possible that the path to citizenship mr. obama insisted be part of a comprehensive immigration reform is not necessary to lure people out of the shadows? >> again, we'll have an opportunity to discuss this once the president made clear what he intends to do. >> reporter: if he's meeting tonight with these democrats, are we to assume this is a done deal and the decisions have been made and it's not likely to change between now and when he speaks to the american people tomorrow night? >> it's my understanding that there will continue to be a couple lingering policy decisions but for all intents and purposes, the president will be ready to move forward when he gives his address tomorrow. >> reporter: are those related to legal questions or waiting to hear what democrats reaction is
to it tonight? >> well, i see what you're asking now. i may have misunderstood your first question. i would anticipate over the course of dinner, the president will have a robust opportunity to speak to him about decisions he's made and to communicate to them what impact he hopes those decisions will have. i would not anticipate that there's going to be a lot of horse trading or negotiating or back and forth in the context of the dinner. the vast majority of these decisions have been made. there are details to be locked down. this is more of an opportunity for the president to share his thinking with those who share his values on these issues. not really a negotiating session. >> can you give us a sense of his thinking in terms of the sell he has to make. our new poll shows that 48% of people disapprove of executive action on immigration. only 38% approve. there is a pretty wide disparity
in terms of republicans versus democrats but clearly almost half of the people don't think he ought to do this. so can you tell us a little bit about the formulation of the case he's going to make and how high the hill is that he has to climb. >> i'll say a couple things about that. the first is that i didn't see the exact wording included in the poll. if wording was along the lines of do you believe that this is a policy problem that should be fixed with legislation rather than executive action, then it sounds like he may have called the presidential cell phone because he would answer the poll in the same way in that president believes that congress should step forward and take steps necessary to fix our broken immigration system but they haven't. >> reporter: approve or disapprove of the president taking executive action on immigration or do you not know enough to have an opinion at this time? >> the president clearly has an opinion. >> i don't think he was on the
call. >> i think the point is the case the president will make is that we have seen that congress has not acted and so the question is should the president use the authority that's invested within the constitution and the presidency to address these problems and the president believes that the answer to that question is that he should take steps necessary to try to solve some of these problems. >> he also thinks he needs to make his case to the american people. >> no question he needs to explain that to the american public and some of that needs to involve consequences for actions he'll be announcing. are there benefits associated with our national security and border security and our economy and job creation. the president and all of us will spend quite a bit of time talking about that not just tomorrow night but for the days and weeks ahead. >> because he knows that he has a tough job to make his case?
>> i think because he feels he has an obligation as president of the united states to explain to the people who elected him precisely why he's taking the actions that he's taking. >> reporter: is there some political mischief part of the calculation here? will the republican party become so upset they'll drive the raggra wagon train off the cliff and start shutting down the government? >> are you suggesting that would be the first time they do that? i think what the intended audience for this message is the american people. and the president is hopeful that the american people will carefully consider exactly the steps that he announced that he's going to take. he's hopeful the american people will carefully evaluate the consequences for the steps that he's planning to take. and i think if people do that, i think the vast majority of
americans will share his view that these are steps that he should take. these are steps that on par are good for the country. and that these are steps that if congress were to take to make them permanent, they should supersede any sort of executive action that the president has taken. we look forward to having this conversation. it's an important one. >> reporter: in a number of occasions the president said he couldn't act legally without congress notably last year in san francisco speech where he was heckled saying he couldn't violate the law and had to work with congress. how do you square that? >> as it relates to hecklers, they were suggesting the president should stop all deportations. that's why the white house feels
an obligation to fulfill your desire to understand the legal foundation that the white house will be using as the president moves forward with these executive actions. >> reporter: why couldn't he do the same thing he did to correct or to somehow lessen the spike in deportations? >> again, in terms of the steps the president may take, we'll have an opportunity to evaluate those tomorrow. >> reporter: i know that alexis asked this. i would like to press down a little bit. are you considering implementation date sometime after the republicans take control of congress in order to give them a chance to perhaps move legislation? >> the kinds of proposals the president is talking about are not the kind of things you flip a switch and start the next day. we'll have an opportunity to discuss what this process of implementation looks like once
we have proposals in front of us tomorrow. >> reporter: will there be a date certain? >> we'll have more on this tomorrow. lori? >> reporter: a question for you in the address. it's clear he's not going to be able to protect 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. in his address tomorrow to the nation, will he have a message for those who will be left out? what is the next step for them? >> i think there are a couple of things. i don't want to prejudge what the president may have decided here. the president wants to send a forceful case that are true to our nation's values that the strength of this country comes from our diversity and that diversity largely comes from the decision people made to building this country and creating a place where their family and their community cannot just survive but actually thrive.
talking about those values is an important part of the speech and hearing the president talk on personal terms will be part of a message that the president hopes everyone will receive. that will be part of it. again, after you've seen the speech or the text of the speech, you'll be able to evaluate which part you believe will resonate with people that are directly affected by these actions. >> reporter: speaker boehner put out a statement that he goes ahead with executive action he would have cemented his governing with lawlessness and others say it's not necessary for the president to take this action and maybe to push congress to go ahead and approve some type of immigration reform. is that the purpose of him part of him taking this step and taking executive action in trying to protect or fix what he says is wrong with the
immigration system? >> we'll have ample opportunity to discuss legal basis for the president's executive actions once he's announced them. we heard rhetoric for some time. the fact is the president is somebody who is willing to examine the law, review the law and use every element of that law to make progress for the american people and that's a criticism the president wears with badge of honor. as it relates to the other part of the quote is it would ruin chances for congressional action on this issue. what's ruining chances for congressional action is speaker of the house unwilling to bring up a bipartisan proposal for a vote. that doesn't have a lot to do with the president. that's a responsibility that
lies on the desk of the speaker of the house. steve? >> reporter: a couple days ago there was a conference call on epa regs and he flat out said he didn't think there was any way house republicans were going to be able to stop them. can you make a statement about immigration actions that you don't see the white house is confident and president is confident and republicans in congress are not going to be able to stop them. >> not many people are able to exude the confidence of senior administration official to which you referred. let me say that i do retain plenty of confidence that executive actions that the president will announce tomorrow will have the positive intended effect that we intend, which is to say that we're confident that there is a strong legal
foundation for the president taking these actions and we're confident that even though republicans object to it, that these are steps that will be fully implemented and will strengthen the economy, create jobs, strengthen border security and strengthen national security and do the other kind of things that the president believes are in the best interest of the country. we'll see what republicans try. justin? >> reporter: i want to ask about two things. there are reports that he'll be attending alongside the president. i'm wondering if this is a public burying of the hatchet after the midterm elections. >> well, i think that you asked me a couple times about this. you work at the hill.
you are obligated to care about these issues. previous questions about this i have cited the litany of successful -- litany of legislation passed successfully through the united states senate because of the stewardship and leadership of senator reid. that's been the view of everyone up to and including the president and that continues to be the view here. the president is looking forward to going to leader reid's home state and i haven't heard whether leered reid will be able to attend. i don't have an update on his schedule. we would be pleased to have him there. >> reporter: i want to ask about this in terms of a lot of announcements from the white house in the last week or so has
been the climate deal all of which have revved up the president's democratic liberal base. i know the president spoke after the elections about how he's going to try to change things and work out compromise more and so i wonder how you can square announcements that upset republicans with the new approach you said you were going to undertake but haven't yet. >> this goes back to a question -- i don't know if it was roberta or someone else. it goes back to the president's philosophy that we can't allow a disagreement over a single issue to become a deal breaker over every one. the president has talked about neutrality and making progress to cut carbon pollution and even
an announcement to reform broken immigration system. at the same time, the president was in the oval office just a couple hours ago signing a piece of legislation that supported republicans. the president was pleased to do that. in the context of signing that bill, the president threw in the waste basket an executive order that would have taken the kind of steps that were included in that legislation. that's pretty good evidence of the president's willingness to allow legislation to supersede any sort of executive action that he takes. that was true of this child care bill and true of any immigration reform that was able to make its way through congress. the other point i want to make is the president also did a couple things that presumably republicans would support in addition to signing that bill and the president spent time on his trip in asia focused on trying to open up overseas markets for american goods and services. the president believes that's good for the country and good for american businesses and good for american workers. he convened a meeting in beijing
with the leaders of countries that presumably would sign onto a transpacific partnership trade agreement. this is something that some democrats support and certainly not all of them. we have seen enthusiastic reaction from republicans to this proposal. that would be an example of common ground that could be found that highlights how the president's policy priorities do in some areas overlap with policy priorities of republicans as well. >> reporter: have any of those policy priorities that the president communicated to republicans that haven't existed before the election so things you mentioned are things that even though harry reid doesn't support, the president has for a long time now. i wonder if after the election there's been any change of policies or areas of compromise that the president has offered to republicans that we haven't heard before the